10 User Experience Tools to Try in 2016
Everything is changing fast. Each year, something new comes up, and the users’ expectations increase by a notch as quality of applications improve. The aim of user experience (UX) is to understand how users feel about a certain application. With the user looking for something new every time, this poses challenges for designers to create better programs for the satisfaction of their customers.
Designing a program or application is a tough job. The designer then has to make sure that he is properly equipped with the tools he needs. Thousands of tools to improve productivity come out in the market to aid them. Though there is no best tool that fits all needs, it all depends on the personal preference of the designer. Here are tools that every UX designer must try this year.
- User Testing
A key element in UX is understanding your users. User research and usability testing has been essential in user experience design (UXD). This tool works by recruiting respondents to answer tests that evaluate an application. It comes with a video that allows you to see actual reactions of your respondents while they answer the test. The results are delivered in an hour. Designers appreciate this tool due to its convenience in delivering feedback. Your team may even specially design the test so it can be customized to what you need.
Photoshop has been very much useful even for those who simply edit images for leisure. Sketch is like Photoshop in a sense, but Sketch is a tool created for web and mobile design. Though it only benefits Mac users, it gives developers the experience to work with a fast, flexible and easy to use tool when laying out concepts. It uses CSS logic from the beginning, making it easier for transport once development starts. Users can create assets in different formats with its Automatic Slicing feature and one-click export.
The lay-out is easy on the eyes. Developers enjoy this because of the convenience it brings. Every new object is affixed in a new layer, making many different layers. Combinations are made easy. Even navigation is easy.
- UX PIN
This has always been on lists of the top ten UX tools. It is set apart from apps like itself because its focus lies largely on what the users need and want: codeless applications, interactivity, user interface patterns, elements that can just be added, dragged and dropped to fit whatever you want. The collaborative design platform handles each stage of the design with attention, keeping all elements in one place. You can design an app from the beginning until the end using the same documents from lo-fi wireframe to hi-fi prototypes.
It is a visual editor that allows you to pick certain elements and combine them together. You may drag and drop elements to mock up an interface without the codes. They also integrate with Sketch and Photoshop. You may also add a little more life to static files to make them into interactive prototypes without actually destroying the layers used.
Not much known as compared to the others, but developers choose to use Photoline because it is efficient and economical. As compared to the other tools, this costs less than its counterpart. It is a versatile software that offers the features you need in designing: non-destructive layers, photo manipulation, vector editing. Its edge among others is that it offers multi-layered EXR exporting and importing.
This also utilizes user research well in order to better develop products. However, it becomes different from other research tools because it makes use of A/B Testing where you create a different version of a page or website , and the impact of the change is measured. This will then influence decisions you have to make with your design. It promises easy implementation with code-free visual editor to allow developers to experiment more based on what they want and what their users want.
Thinking is a very complex process that sometimes you need help to organize all the creative inputs you are having all at the same time. XMind is a diagramming tool and brainstorming aid that also helps organize thoughts. It relies on visuals for easier comprehension when you go back to ideas related to you project. It allows you to list down anything on your mind about your current project. Since it has an automatic cloud storage, you may share your inputs with your teammates.
As they say, two head is better than one. This tool is what the creators like to call a flexible canvas where ideas are dumped. This allows teams brainstorm together and lay down all their insights even as they work away from each other. Conversations may be formed for better understanding as a team. This creates a clearer vision of the project as the concepts and ideas are organized into structures. Multimedia can also be incorporated here. This supports Youtube, Vimeo Slideshow, Google Drive, Evernote to make working easier.
This tool allows your team to collaborate design drafts and getting feedback immediately. Your static web designs can come to life with just a click by adding animations, gestures and transitions. You may showcase your designs in any resolution, since it supports any screen size.
If you want to finish a project in the shortest possible time, Antetype can be the one for you. It is one of the first design and layout tool created by UI designers that are packed with tools needed to design high-end UI prototypes. It saves time with its responsive designs that you may tweak for your taste. It comes with pre-designed widgets that you can choose from. It also allows you to make your own. The graphics are optimal for whatever screen size you are using.
Any tool that improves communication within a team improves user experience. Slack is a messaging tool most often called the “team communication for the 21st century” because it gathers all communication tools such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and even Twitter to keep each member of the team updated. Conversations are organized into channels and files are uploaded directly for better collaboration. This is the chosen app for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory so the people can be more productive in a convenient manner.